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Caffeine and banking at Capital One 360 Cafe

The Capital One Cafe combines a Peet’s Coffee shop with “digital lifestyle coaches” to help customers with their online banking services.
jonathan wiggs/globe staff
The Capital One Cafe combines a Peet’s Coffee shop with “digital lifestyle coaches” to help customers with their online banking services.

How do you know the Capital One 360 on Boylston Street is a different kind of banking office? Is it the coffee bar inside? Or perhaps it’s the bank employee who goes by the title of digital lifestyle coach?

The bank office/coffee shop is tastefully decked out to appeal to the indie sensibilities of the millennial generation. At the Capital One 360 Cafe, bank employees share the location with a Peet’s Coffee. It’s designed to give a physical space and presence to what is otherwise an online-only banking company.

“The cafes are strictly focused on checking, credit, and savings,” said Abner Rodriguez, a digital lifestyle coach at the Boylston Street office.

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Capital One 360 employs coaches like Rodriguez to help customers use technology to their advantage and “simplify the ever-changing digital landscape.”

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The Boylston Street office is the bank’s third location in the Boston area, along with others in Downtown Crossing and Coolidge Corner in Brookline.

Offices are also located in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and St. Cloud, Minn.

Capital One created its first cafe in New York in 2001, as a way to offer the mobile bank’s customers a physical space to ask questions and maybe have a cup of coffee.

The Boylston office has no tellers, only banking associates who help the customers use Capital One’s online-only systems.

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The office, open since February 2014, is a large, circular room with the Peet’s Coffee counter off to the right. A row of large windows on the other side of the room opens onto Fairfield Street.

Despite some banking touches, such as a large Capital One ATM dominating the entranceway, the space feels primarily like a coffee shop, with rows of wooden tables, brick walls behind the counter, and a nooks with comfortable chairs and knee-high tables.

The effect is undercut a bit by the three large television monitors along the curved outer wall, displaying advertisements for Capital One banking services, and an even larger screen behind the banking counter in the back.

Rodriguez said the space is intended to be a banking office with a coffee shop addition.

But anybody is welcome to come in and grab a cup of joe.

Eden Shulman

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